It's been a very difficult week. Difficult enough that I didn't show up for Halo night with my clan... I just couldn't motivate myself to join in on some multiplayer madness.
I'll admit that I dread Mondays. I like my job, but I hate not being able to have my dog at my side while I'm there. Today started horribly though... I learned that the family that adopted one of my Pen Pals is bringing him back today. I'm left with a ton of questions.
I just received great news about my Pen Pal, Martin! He has a meet with a potential adopter at the end of this week! I'm going to the shelter tonight to work with him and hopefully teach him a new trick. Hopefully he'll find his forever home in just a bit. More news soon...
Here's Halo, the dog I mentioned in my last post. It's amazing how far she's come since last week. When she arrived at the shelter, she was so frightened that she walked at a snail's pace while I encouraged and praised her whenever she took a step forward. A whole team has been working with her and she's finally comfortable.
Here's my new "Pen Pal," Martin!
This big boy is happy-go-lucky dog that loves to play. He loves tennis balls, so I've been using them, along with treats to motivate him. He's learned "sit," and is currenlty working on other commands as well.
The shelter where I volunteer would be considered a high kill shelter. I won't go into the various rankings in the shelter shelter system, but every day the animals I'm lucky enough to work with face the threat of euthanasia. We're essentially the pound for the entire city of Philadelphia... no animal can be turned away from our doors. I can't begin to express how hard this is from an emotional point of view, but I feel that this is where I can make the biggest difference; even if I can only comfort a dog or cat for a half hour before it's humanely euthanized I've done something. Some of these poor guys have not received any affection in their entire lives...
Recently one of my friends and a staff member at the shelter was called a murderer. I'm still very upset about this and naturally, they are too. this person puts so much love and care into what they do and even volunteers their time on top their normal work hours. They also have to make very tough decisions on a daily basis. Like I mentioned before no animal can be turned away and there's only so much space. Space-related euthanasia sucks, but it's a necessity due to the environment.
There are rescues and sanctuaries that exist that don't have to euthanize animals except in cases of poor health or mental deterioration. That's a wonderful thing, but those kind of establishments don't take in every animal that shows up at their doors. They can decide who gets in and who doesn't. I know many rescues would like to do more, but there's limits to what they have available as well.
The staff and volunteers at my shelter care for and love animals deeply, but we can't fix the enitre city. We wil continue to work hard to achieve positive outcomes every single day, but we need all of the help we can get. One of the easiest things you can do, is spay or neuter your companion animals and avoiding buying animals at pet stores. If you see a dog a pet store they are from a puppy mill. No responsible breeder would ever sell their pups at a pet store! Please help me make this world a better place for our four-legged friends. Thank you all.
My Pen Pal, Sam just went into foster care! She's not adopted yet, but she's safe!
My wife and I started working with her because she was really shut down and scared at the shelter. After quite a bit of work and a lot of cheese, she started showing us who she really is! We discovered that she was very affectionate (she'd nudge you if she wanted to be pet), dog friendly, cat friendly, and also pretty horny. :) She was spayed as she was entering heat, so she had some issues to "work out."
A really nice couple has taken Sam under their wings and is teaching her how to live in a home now. All of the updates that we've received are really positive. She hasn't even had any potty accidents. I'm hoping she finds her forever home soon. I suspect it might be her fosters' home. They are smitten!
In regards to my health, I'm getting better everyday, but I'm still not feeling great. I just wish my ears would drain. They've been gunked up for almost an entire week now.
It's been awhile since I've been able to blog. First work was super crazy, then I was hit by a bad sinus infection that turned into the flu. It's been a long, hard road back to normalcy but I'm getting there. I just wish my ears would start acting normally. They're not infected, but they keep filling up with various junk due to all of the sinus draining, which is messing with my hearing. I'm looking forward to some online gaming in the near future. 2sick2game is not a good time at all.
My Pen Pal, Toby was adopted this weekend. He's going home with a small family that are already in love with him! I was present for the meet and adoption, but I couldn't hang out too much. Toby and I bonded and I was in the way during the meet. Instead of mingling with the family he was interested in me, so I had to excuse myself. My wife took over and did an amazing job!
Luckily I was able to watch the meet from afar. The highlight was seeing Toby snuggle into the lap of his new human brother. Toby's new buddy learned all of the hand signals and commands that we taught Toby to respond to very quickly. In a few minutes I could see Toby jumping through hoops, sitting, and having a great time.
I'm really going to miss this little guy. Due to his very gentle and relaxed personality he fit in really well with my dog, LaLa. We brought him to our neighborhood on a number of occassions and he was always a gentleman. Volunteering at a shelter means I fall in love every week. It also means a good amount of heart break.
This week my wife is heading in to the shelter and will be picking our new Pen Pal. I can't wait to meet our new buddy this weekend. We're also getting ready to represent the shelter at a HUGE pet expo in PA this weekend. If anyone wants details, please message me.
Last but certainly not least, my wife started helping the promotions team. She's making scrapbook-like pages to help advertise the dogs housed at our shelter. We're hoping this type of layout will help catch potential adopters' attention and lead to even more successful outcomes.
Today I have some sad news. One of the dogs I was asked to work with, Boggs was euthanized. There's always a huge host of reasons why this can happen, but it always sucks. This entry is dedicated to Boggs. *Rest in peace my friend. I wish I was able to have more time to work with you. I hope you had as much fun with me as I had with you. I'm sorry I wasn't able to do more. I love you, Boggs.*
Boggs had a bad case of non-contagious mange. This condition lead to adopters looking past him. He was a very smart and sweet boy. In one session I was able to teach him how to sit, lie down, and jump through hoops. I'll keep doing my best to help dogs like Boggs. It's the only thing I can do...
I learned of this while I was in VA for Christmas. I made sure to spoil my buddy, LaLa and focus on my family. LaLa loves visiting there. She has a huge backyard to run around in and there's a ton of parks to explore.
La had a great holiday and she has lots of new toys to play with.
She was well behaved while we opened our presents and put up with lots of poses and photographs.
Good girl, La!